Music for the Calendar
- --- Wayne FISCHER wrote:
> I have also heard that Tom Mellet had written music for the Calendar butHi Wayne,
> when I wrote him about it, he never responded. I heard him mention in a
> listserve five years ago or so that he had performed the music and the
> Calendar at a place in California once.
While at Steiner College in the early 1980's, Tom Mellett collaborated
with William Jay Sydeman, a fairly well-known modern composer, to set the
Soul Calendar to music. Tom provided translations of the Calendar into
English and Jay composed a choral piece for 4 voices for each verse. All
52 verses were set to music by 1983.
In mid-February 1993, this composition received its "world premiere" in
Roseville, CA -- a town about 10 miles north of Sacramento. The piece was
performed by a 6 or 7 piece chamber orchestra, a large college choir, and
a eurythmist. Two weeks later, another performance was held in San
Francisco. Jay wasn't able to rehearse every single verse with the
choir, so for about ten scattered verses, there was instrumental music
playing behind Tom as he recited the verse.
Jay recorded both performances and an FM station in SF was reportedly
interested in broadcasting part of the work -- it was quite lengthy, as
you might imagine -- but it is unclear whether that actually happened.
As far as I know, Jay is still out in northern California, and I imagine
he still has the music somewhere in his files.
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Thanks for the wonderful information JoAnn. Maybe in the Fall I'll try to contact him. It would be great to put a performance like that where I'm from, but it'll take a bit of work - - something like 15 years worth! I'd love to learn to play the compositions though for when the time is ripe.
May you have the best of summers,